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Council Split On Concealed Carry Resolutions

The Beloit City Council members were split on passing of Resolutions exempting the Beloit Municipal Building, Beloit Electric Generation/Water Treatment Plant and the Beloit Port Library from the requirements Kansas Session 2013 Chapter 105, Section 2 (1) dealing with Concealed Carry. The City understands this exemption will end on December 31, 2017 unless further action is taken by the governing body to provide adequate security to the building as defined in the statute.

In the resolution dealing with the Beloit Municipal Building, the risk assessment showed that generally the risk of violence in this building is minimal; however, there are times that council meetings and municipal court can become contentious. Law enforcement will routinely patrol by this building during office hours when the facility is being used in the evening and enter the building periodically to assure public and staff safety. A trained law enforcement officer will be present at each council meeting and municipal court session.

In the case of the exemption of the Beloit Electric Generation/Water Treatment Plants the exemption is based on the analysis of he security plan completed on this building and the determination of the governing body that safety is sufficient to continue the ban on concealed weapons in this building. The risk assessment also applies to the Port Library Building as it is felt the risk of violence in this building is minimal and there is no history of violence taking place there. The Mitchell County Law Enforcement Center is located next door to the library and law enforcement routinely patrols by the library during office hours.

After discussion Mayor Tom Naasz called for a vote on all three resolutions separately. On the resolution dealing with the Municipal Building the vote passed five to three with Councilmen Bob Richards, Bob Petterson and Lloyd Littrell casting no votes. On the Electric Generation/Water Treatment Plant resolution the vote passed six to two with Richards, and Littrell casting no votes. In the Resolution dealing with the Port Library, the vote passed five to three with Richards, Petterson and Littrell again casting no votes.

Two ordinances were listed on the agenda. The council voted 8 to 0 to pass Ordinance 2135 to Vacate the Utility Easement in the Baldwin Addition. The Cherry Street LLC, the organization developing six residential lots near St. John's, requested this action. The council voted 8 to 0 to approve Ordinance 2136 on Concealed Carry rules for employees. Passing this Ordinance amending the "Personnel policies and guidelines for the City of Beloit, Kansas" for the Violence in the Workplace section to add the open and concealed weapons policy and guidelines.

Mayor Tom Naasz announced a closed session to discuss non-elected personnel and a roll call vote was taken of the council members. The vote ended in a tie with Mayor Naasz casting a no vote to cancel the closed session from the agenda.

City Attorney, Katie J. Cheney, announced they have applied for a tax break on the old Port Library building to bring an ordinance forward on this issue. If it passes the public will then have the right to protest. This will cover all cover all the taxes involved. This would also involve any interest in the liquor stores being allowed to be open on holidays. They will be informed about the statute.

City Administrator Rodden reminded the council the City Christmas Party will be held on December 31 at the Down Under facilities. Employees are to RSVP by Friday. There has been an ongoing tree trimming taking place around the city and that contract is about done. Councilor Matt Otte asked if they are going to do some more trimming on the tree stumps at 5th and Mill because they don't look good like they are. Rodden will be sure they do this work. He also said Rolling Hills Electric Co. is seriously planning on moving their District Offices to Beloit. They are looking at three different sites in the immediate area and plan to build here within the next few years.

Under Formal Actions the council granted cereal malt beverage licenses for Arlyn Mead, doing business as Beloit Bowl; Casey's Retail Company, 1323 E. Main, Casey's Retail Company, 806 N. Independence; Joe Kindscher, doing business as Pump Mart; Michael D. Shamburg, doing business as Shamburg Oil, Inc, Mitchell County Fair Association and Ana Leon, doing business as El Puertos. The cost for the license ranges from $75 to $150 per year based upon the license applied for. The city typically receives $1,000 on revenue from alcohol licenses.

The council voted 8 to 0 to approve the purchase of one 15 KV vacuum breaker for the City of Beloit Power Plant from Mid-State Energy Works in the amount of $25,805.

After discussion the council voted 5 to 3 to approve the creation of a power plant and systems secretary to assist with administrative duties with Councilors Lloyd Littrell, Bob Petterson and Matt Otte casting the no votes.

During the work session the council discussed changes in the Annual Fee Resolution. No decision was made, as this was a discussion only item. It will be placed on the January 7, 2014 agenda to be voted on. City Code Enforcement Officer Chris Jones continued with the Codification Review dealing with chapters 7, 8 and 9. Discussion became heated as the subject of dogs and cats running loose and how to deal with this ongoing problem in the City of Beloit was covered from all perspectives. Trudy Collins representing the local Humane Society said they would be willing help to do what they can but they would need to meet to discuss it first. Other members were also present to show their concern.

Councilor Otte said he is very concerned that the Pit Bull that bit a local citizen is still in town. "I am very passionate about this," he said. This needs to be taken care of before this dog bites a child. Councilman Richards feels they should also require a license for cats. They once again discussed renting Dr. Gentry's facility or helping Dr. Luke build on. Otte said this is an ongoing discussion and can't be solved tonight but something has to be done. It was decided to have Councilor Kent Miller visit with Dr. Luke to get his perspective on this situation and report at the next meeting.

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